Garvey Pierre is in his 13th season as the head volleyball coach at Siena after becoming the program's initial full-time coach in April of 2003. He has reenergized the Saints' program with stellar recruiting and bold vision and brought Siena to more NCAA Tournament (five) than any coach in any sport.
Pierre led the Saints to their record ninth MAAC title in 2014. Siena knocked off regular-season champion Marist in an epic five-set title match at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando. The program earned the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament where they fell at eventual National Champion Penn State in the First Round.
In just his third year, Pierre guided the upstart Saints to the MAAC Championship in 2005 and the second NCAA appearance in program history, a feat the team repeated each of the next three seasons.
Pierre has Siena gunning for a sixth MAAC title under his direction (and 10th overall) after resurrecting a program that tied for last in the league in 2004. His recruiting classes have been the most decorated in program history. The Saints have won at least 20 matches five times in Pierre's 12 seasons with the program.
Middle blocker Burgandy McCurty '10 graduated as the greatest volleyball player ever at Siena, finishing her career with a MAAC record 1,945 kills. She was the 2006 MAAC Rookie of the Year and the 2007, 2008 and 2009 MAAC Offensive Player of the Year. She finished the 2010 season ranked second nationally with a school record 5.37 kills/set.
Recent graduates set the stage for the program's current success. April London' 09 was a CoSIDA District 1 First Team Academic All-America selection, the 2005 MAAC Rookie of the Year, the 2008 MAAC Setter of the Year and graduated as the school's all-time assist leader (5,356). London and classmate Kathi Kobayashi - the program's all-time leader in digs - won MAAC Championships in all four of their years with the program. Nadiege Honore '08 was the first major recruit to commit to Pierre. She finished her career second on the school's all-time kills charts with 1,461 career kills.
Taylor Akana was one of 30 national Senior CLASS Award candidates in 2013, and one of just two in the Northeast. She finished her career ranked second all-time at Siena with 1,700 kills and fourth with 1,370 digs. Akana graduated a semester early from Siena (in December of 2013) with a 3.82 GPA in marketing and repeated as a CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-District selection in 2013, distinguishing herself among the top student athletes in the Northeast. She was one of two MAAC nominees for the prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year Award, the 2011 MAAC Offensive Player of the Year and a three-time MAAC First Team selection.
The Class of 2015 included MAAC Tournament MVP Rachel Stoklosa (1,008 career kills) and First Team All-MAAC picks Jacqueline Skeen and Meghann Wright.
But Pierre doesn't rebuild, he reloads.
Junior setter Haley Howell and junior libero Bobbi Lin Kalama were each named to the MAAC All-Rookie Team in 2013, and Howell was honored as a MAAC Second Team selection in 2014. They anchor a talented group of returning players and a highly touted incoming class that includes three freshmen and a transfer with two years of eligibility remaining.
Thanks to national, and in some cases international recruiting, the Saints have made five NCAA appearances under Pierre's direction.
In 2005, Siena captured its fourth MAAC title, and first since 1996, despite being picked ninth in the Preseason Coaches' Poll and last by every coach except Pierre (who picked the Saints first). Pierre's Saints reeled off seven straight wins to end the regular-season and earn a spot in the MAAC Championships. The squad carried the momentum into the conference Tournament, where they knocked off Iona in the semifinals and upset top-seed Fairfield in the Championship Match. The win assured the Saints their second NCAA berth in program history where they lost to eventual National Champion Washington in the First Round in Fort Collins, Colo.
Siena repeated its magical ride to the NCAA's in 2006, capturing the league championship at Disney's Wide World of Sports in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. After entering the Tournament as the #2 seed, Siena knocked off Saint Peter's and Canisius in its first two matches, setting up a Championship rematch with Fairfield. Pierre again guided Siena to the upset, and with it the program's sixth MAAC Championship and third NCAA berth. Siena advanced to play Minnesota in the 2006 NCAA Tournament in Albany.
In 2007, Siena once more ousted rival Fairfield in a classic MAAC Championship match televised on ESPNU that went the distance. The Saints tied with the Stags during the regular-season, posting a 17-1 league record. After capturing their third straight MAAC title, Siena advanced to play eventual National Champion Penn State in the NCAA First Round.
In 2008, the Saints' seniors completed their perfect careers with a championship on their home court. Once more, Siena topped Fairfield on national television in the final, this time doing so in straight sets. It was the 100th career victory for Pierre at Siena. The Saints went on to play California in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament in Berkeley.
Siena won nine of its last 10 league games in 2011 to make a bold run at the MAAC title, earning the No. 3 seed in the conference championships where they fell to Fairfield in five epic sets. In 2012 the Saints again reached the MAAC title match and held a 2-0 lead on the road against the rival Stags before succumbing in five sets.
This type of success is nothing new for Pierre.
Prior to being named Siena's head coach, Pierre led the volleyball program at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. While at Mercy, Pierre compiled a winning percentage in excess of 75%, which placed him seventh among active Division II coaches with at least five years of experience upon his resignation. Pierre's teams gained three conference championships, and a number one ranking in the Northeast Region in 2000 (33-2 record) and 2001 (34-2 record). He was named conference Coach of the Year four times and Northeast Region Coach of the Year twice.
In 2001 Pierre led Mercy to the final eight in the NCAA Tournament. In addition, his teams held the best grade point average among all teams in the Mercy athletic department for seven straight years.
Pierre is a graduate of Quebec University (BA) and Mercy (BS). He was a technical adviser for his native Haiti's men's national team in 1994 and was an assistant coach for Haiti's women's national team in 1996 for the Norceca Games (pre-Olympics). Pierre was also a participant in the 1992 Norceca Games.